Tech & society

TweetDeck Integrates New RT Feature: Pluses and Minuses

TweetDeck released version 0.32.0 today, a desktop application update that includes the new Twitter retweet feature. On the plus side, TweetDeck makes it easy to choose between sending an edited retweet and a new retweet. On the negative side, TweetDeck does not bump a tweet if you are already following a person who has been retweeted.

The developers thought first of the account holder author: when you click the TweetDeck retweet icon, TweetDeck asks you if you want to just retweet (the new feature) or “edit then retweet.” If you change your mind, you must make the second choice, then highlight/delete. And you can make this decision permanent in settings.

TweetDeck Asks If You Want To Edit (Note, Custom UI Colors)

However, unlike Tweetelator (iPhone only), TweetDeck does not “bump” the new retweet. Why is this a big deal? As I wrote two weeks ago:

One of the advantages (to the original author) of RTs is that each becomes a new tweet, a new instance. This increases the chance that someone will “see” the original tweet.

Think of a retweet as “bumping” an item “up” in time. But that’s not how the new interface works. On low volume accounts, this isn’t a big issue. But on moderate- to high-volume accounts (measured by number followed), it is. Here’s why.

Twitter doesn’t “bump” the old tweet — it merely changes the “retweeted by” count. So if you read your Tweets on the site and missed a tweet the first time around, you’ll miss it each-and-every time it’s retweeted … because it will remain in “history,” far below the fold.

TweetDeck desktop does, however, flag a new retweet and does so in a way that provides more visual information to the reader than the Twitter web interface. Note that the timestamp is that of the original tweet, not the retweet, which looks very odd in your timeline.

TweetDeck Flags New Retweets, Better Than Twitter's Web Interface. (This is my @kegill account via TweetDeck desktop.)

The New Retweet Via The Twitter Web Interface: Icon Is Original Author Only, Which Minimizes Who In Your Network Made The RT. (This is my @kathygill account via the Web.)

TweetDeck is following the paradigm established by Twitter. If you are reading Twitter via the web interface, you’ll find that Twitter does not “bump” a tweet if you are already following someone who has been retweeted since you read the original tweet. Moreover, because that Tweet is “in history” (so to speak), that tweet will never show that it has been retweeted. This oversight remains a fatal flaw in this system, in my opinion.

The Twitter Web Interface Does Not Tell You That Someone Has RTed An Account That You Already Follow, If You Have Already Read The Tweet. (This is my @kegill account via the Web.)

Prior analyses: November 19 – Twitter Completes Retweet Rollout; Caution Still Recommended; November 7 – New Twitter RT Link – Use Caution.


By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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